It’s action replay for two New Zealand Dutch cheese companies as they scoop all three major accolades in the 2013 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards for the second consecutive year.
Meyer Vintage Gouda, produced by Meyer Gouda Cheese, has won the Crossroads Wines Champion of Champions Award for large cheesemakers. Very Old Edam, produced by Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese has won the Cuisine Champion Artisan Cheese Award for smaller producers with Jake Rosevear of Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese winning the Milk Test NZ Champion Cheesemaker Award.
Fifty nine cheese companies entered 413 cheeses in this year’s competition, with the winners announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at The Langham in Auckland tonight.
A total of 28 expert assessors made up the judging panel, led for the fifth year by one of Australasia’s most respected cheese judges, Russell Smith. Smith said he is particularly impressed with the increasingly high standard of Dutch cheese in New Zealand.
“Every year Dutch style cheese in New Zealand seems to get stronger and stronger. It’s fantastic to see this growth and consistency year after year,” said Smith.
Hamilton-based Meyer Gouda Cheese, which focuses solely on producing world-class Gouda, celebrates its second year winning the prestigious Champion of Champions award with its “hugely flavoured” Meyer Vintage Gouda.
“This is a cheese that almost overwhelms the palate on first taste,” Smith said. “It then settles down
to a pleasing mix of complex fruity, sweet and nutty flavours. It’s a real flavour explosion for the
Meyer Vintage Gouda also won the NZ Specialist Cheesemakers Champion Export Award.
Family-run Kerikeri business Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese has taken home three awards with the
youngest of the family Jake Rosevear (34) crowned Milk Test NZ Champion Cheesemaker for the
second year running.
Both Meyer and Rosevear are second generation cheesemakers now taking over production from
their Dutch immigrant parents.
Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese also won the Cuisine Champion Artisan Cheese Award for its Very Old
Edam and the AsureQuality Champion Dutch Style Cheese Award for its Mature Gouda.
“Very Old Edam is a pure delight. It displays a firm and crunchy texture with sweet and floral notes
and a nutty aftertaste,” said Smith. “Mahoe’s Mature Gouda has a slightly soft texture producing a
mouthful of sweet fruity flavours and just a slight tang to finish.”
To add to its award haul, two of Mahoe Farmhouse cheeses scored a perfect score of 100. Smith
said this is an incredible achievement.
“In the judging I conduct internationally I might see one 100 score every two years. To see two
perfect scores of 100 in one competition – well, it just doesn’t happen. The cheese has to be
perfect in every aspect – you can’t do any better.”
The iconic Kapiti brand produced by Fonterra Brands NZ has also achieved a hat trick taking out
five awards including the New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award (voted for by consumers)
for Kapiti Kikorangi for the second year running.
Every cheese was examined by both a technical and an aesthetic judge and strictly graded to predetermined
bronze, silver and gold standards. This year the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards
produced 74 gold medals, up from 58 in 2012.
“On the tenth anniversary of these awards it’s fantastic to see such a large number of gold medals
awarded. It’s a real testament to the increasing skill of New Zealand cheesemakers, especially the
artisan end,” Smith said.
Cheese lovers keen to sample New Zealand’s finest, award-winning cheeses are encouraged to head long to Cuisine CheeseFest, Wednesday 27th February from 12pm – 3pm and 5pm – 8pm. Tickets are available at the door for $35.
Media Release – 28 Feb 2013